Sweden: Climate change speeds up Baltic Sea algal blooms

A close up shot of a blue-green algae bloom. Location not identified. (iStock)
A close up shot of a blue-green algae bloom. Location not identified. (iStock)
Algal blooms in the Baltic Sea are starting earlier that before, a new study shows, a result that might be due to the warming climate.

This year’s cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, blooms are coming almost three weeks earlier today, compared with 35 years ago.

Swedish Radio local channel in Sörmland reports that scientists from Stockholm University analyzed satellite images from 1979 to 2013 and believe climate change is prompting the earlier arrival.

Warm weather and calm conditions provided a perfect opportunity for algae to bloom in the sea over fertilized by runoff from farms. The cyanobacteria make the water thick and soupy. It can be poisonous if ingested.

In most of the Baltic Sea, there are two annual blooms, the spring bloom and the cyanobacterial bloom in summer.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Missing sea ice data found in crusty Canadian algae, CBC News

Sweden:  Just how sick is the Baltic Sea?, Radio Sweden

United States:  Giant algae blooms thriving under thinning Arctic sea ice, CBC News

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